Vista Plantation Golf Club, by
Arthur Hills, Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA
The beautiful 132 yard, par 3 eighth hole
at Vista Plantation Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Vista Plantation Golf Club
Vista Plantation Golf Club
(In Vero Beach, Florida)
48 Plantation Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32966
(772) 569-2223, myvistagolf.com
Architect: Arthur Hills - 1985
18 Holes, Par 62
Rating / Slope
59.8 / 95
58.9 / 94
57.7 / 85
for Florida Golf Magazine by Golf Course Architect, Arthur Hills
Thirty-some years ago, we were hired to
design a short course called Vista Plantation Golf Club in Vero
Beach, Florida. With eight par fours and ten par threes, the
course is 3,667 yards long and the members love it.
Semi-private and open to the public for
daily-fee play, the golf course at Vista Plantation is nestled
into a 564-unit condominium community that was originally a 145-acre
grapefruit grove owned by the Sextons, a true pioneer family
in Vero Beach. They owned a lot of landmarks that are still around.
The diverse species of indigenous water
fowl (specifically the many roseate spoonbills) surrounding the
lake on the first hole, are evidence of a healthy ecosystem.
There is water on 17 of the 18 holes at
Vista Plantation. All of the lakes were excavated and the dirt
was used for fill on the golf course and in the residential community
that surrounds it.
18 new Champion Ultradwarf
Originally opened in 1985, on Vista Plantation's 30th anniversary,
the original Tifdwarf greens were re-grassed with Champion bermudagrass.
The fairways, which have held up well, are still the original
At 327 yards from the back tees, the dogleg
right, par-4 first hole at Vista Plantation is rated as the most
difficult hole on the golf course. Those who can hit a long ball
may try to drive the green on this heroic, risk-reward hole which
requires a 260- to 280-yard carry to be successful, depending
where the back tees are that day.
Signature Holes at Vista Plantation
#1 - 327 yards, par 4, #1 handicap
At 327 yards from the back tees, the dogleg right, par-4 first
hole at Vista Plantation is rated as the most difficult hole
on the golf course. With water all along the right side, the
normal landing area for average tee shots is to the fairway area
to the left.
Those who can hit a long ball may try to drive the green on this
heroic, risk-reward hole which requires a 260- to 280-yard carry
to be successful, depending where the back tees are that day.
However, that is not a likely scenario for those who play the
An accurate tee shot is required on the 289-yard fifth hole at
beautiful Vista Plantation Golf Club.
- 289 yards, par 4, 3rd hardest hole
When we originally designed Vista Plantation, the corridor on
hole #5 was 60 feet wider. Back in the late nineties, when the
shopping center to the east was built, the County condemned 60
feet of golf course property and took it for road right-away.
So, they had to really narrow the fairway to continue using the
289-yard 5th hole.
On the approach to the 5th green, the fairway has an elevation
rise that hides the water that comes back in all the way to the
cart path. A lot of players, looking to hit a long ball, have
to carry it all the way to the green or else they get wet. It
often fools the first-time golfers at Vista Plantation. Needless
to say, this is a profitable hole for divers who retrieve golf
balls from the water.
Lots of bunkers and lots of water provide plenty of challenge
on the par-4 fourteenth hole at beautiful Vista Plantation Golf
Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
- 319 yards, par 4
At 319 yards from the expansive back tees, #14 is a great par
4 with Australian Pines down the left off the tee and water to
the right. From the tee, the view of the green is obscured by
two large elevated fairway bunkers and so is the view of the
water to the right of the green. The fairway widens at the fairway
bunkers, but a really long ball slicing to the right over the
bunkers may find the water hazard.
The 14th green is guarded on the right
by a large saving bunker that wraps around the entire
right side. The large elevated green is also guarded on the left
side by a pot bunker.
The 15th hole at Vista Plantation has a pot bunker faced with
vertical cypress planks.
- 128 yards, par 3
With out-of-bounds on the left side and a water hazard on the
right, the 15th hole features an intimidating Prestwick-style
bunker faced with vertical cypress planks in front of the green.
The angled planks make for interesting recovery shots. With water
behind the green, a long shot can roll over the green and into
At 265 yards from the tips, the longer hitters who dare the risk-reward
scenario will try carrying the 220 yards over water and will
go for the 17th green in one shot.
- 265 yards, par 4
The 17th hole is a dogleg right that plays at 265 yards from
the back tees. The safe play from back there is left to the fairway,
leaving a second shot to the narrow, but deep green which, from
that angle, is guarded by a bunker on the right.
The longer hitters who dare the risk-reward
scenario will sometimes try carrying the 220 yards over water
and will go for the green in one shot. If they go too long, they
may find a small bunker just short and left of the putting surface.
Playing at 338 yards from the elevated back tees, the 18th hole
is rated as the second most difficult hole at Vista Plantation
in Vero Beach. Trees and the mounds and shaping of the 18th fairway
also obscure a direct view of the green from the back tee and
make for some interesting rolls.
#18 - 338 yards, par 4, 2nd
#18 is a favorite with the members at Vista Plantation Golf Club.
With the spacious practice facility to the left, the 18th fairway
is a long straightaway that narrows before turning slightly right
toward the green.
Playing at 338 yards from the elevated
back tees, the hole is rated as the second most difficult. Trees,
and the mounds and shaping of the 18th fairway obscure a direct
view of the green from the back tee and make for some interesting
The 338 yard, par four, 18th hole at Vista
Plantation Golf Club
Off the tee, the 18th fairway has a broad
landing area. However, drives that are too long or too far to
the right may find the water.
The intriguing 18th green is guarded by
two bunkers on the left and is slightly pitched toward the lake.
A lot of bets are won and lost right there.
When we designed this course thirty-some
years ago, we were only given 80 acres on which to build an 18-hole
golf course. We worked very hard to make each and every hole
challenging as well as beautiful. This course is designed well
and is still going strong after 30 years. Im very proud
of how Vista Plantation turned out.
- Arthur Hills, 2016
Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
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